Daily Archives: June 3, 2013


Forced into Private Health

I remain absolutely stunned, and completely confused, by the apparently appalling quality of NHS Healthcare in Thanet, from my own experience.

I still haven’t seen that cardiologist.

Meantime, about six weeks ago, my left heel became very sore and tender, painful to walk upon. A couple of days later the pain had gone. A couple of days more, and it came back. It remained intermittent for about a month. Then two weeks ago, it became more or less permanent, and then when I went on Saturday to speak at the Bradley Manning demo at the US Embassy, I found that after 200 of the 300 metres to the railway station I was in so much pain I just had to sit on the pavement until the pain died down a bit. I missed my train. I eventually got to the demo after it had pretty well finished, looking rather like Quasimodo and in a lot of pain. I spoke anyway, but there are rather more ummms and aaahs than usual because the pain made it hard to concentrate.

I finally decided this wasn’t going away, and went to see the GP today – it is very close, but again I couldn’t walk there. He gave me a chit to take to the QEQM Hospital for an X-Ray. I went and had the X-Ray immediately. So far, very efficient and full marks to the NHS.

But I was then told that it will take between ten and 14 days for the X Ray result to be given to my GP; I should call then and make an appointment to see him again.

This is absolutely beyond my understanding. I have had the odd x-ray in my life, and the results have always been instantaneous, with a doctor telling me what happens next within an hour or two. I recall on occasion being handed the x-rays to hand carry to my GP.

In the meantime, I cannot walk. Am I meant simply to lie around on my arse until someone can bother to do something with the x-rays, which already have their physical existence? To my shame, I found myself asking my GP to refer me to a private hospital so I can pay someone to not just take x-rays, but look at them.

I just do not remember the NHS as being this awful. Have I gone crazy, is the NHS in a state of utter dereliction, or in moving to Thanet have I just come last in the postcode lottery? Any views from within the NHS would be especially welcome.

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Suppressed By The BBC

I was invited then disinvited to discuss Bradley Manning on BBC Breakfast TV this morning. I was delighted and really surprised that the BBC were prepared to give such prime media exposure to the case against the persecution of Manning. I should have realised it would not be allowed to happen.

I was asked to appear twice, once after 7 and once after 8, and to explain why the case of Bradley Manning ought to concern people in the UK. BBC Breakfast is based in Salford. So the BBC sent me train tickets, booked a room in the Holiday Inn and organised a cab for me from Manchester Piccadilly. I had reached so far as Euston from St Pancras yesterday when I discovered, rather by chance that my slots on BBC breakfast had been cancelled. I was instead offered a single live interview at 6.40 am that would not be repeated.

I suppose the BBC are at least being more subtle; instead of management intervention outright to cancel a possible airing of dissident thought, they are pretending to give it a voice by broadcasting it before 95% of the audience are awake. I was not prepared to participate in such tokenism, so I turned round and came home.

It of course brings back memories of when I was on my way to Leeds to take part in BBC Question Time, and was cancelled en route, and replaced by another neo-con clone. A Freedom of Information Act request for the documents and emails concerning that cancellation was refused by the BBC on the grounds of a Freedom of Information exemption for journalism. Censorship is not journalism.

Good to see that the odious war criminal James Purnell is earning his £295,000 a year by keeping the air waves free of thought.

Given the extraordinary amount of time the BBC has devoted to promoting the ludicrous trumped up charges against Julian Assange, their non-coverage of the Bradley Manning trial today is chilling.

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